Districts are trading print for digital textbooks, with 22 states making significant digital content policy changes in recent years—altering the definition of a textbook and encouraging flexible funding, says Geoff Fletcher, deputy executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA). SETDA recommends districts complete the shift from print to digital within the next five years, and several have successfully started the transition.
For example, Utah is implementing a statewide Open Educational Resources (OER) project for science textbooks, which involves high-quality, openly licensed education materials that are free for any district to use. A group of teachers across the state adapted six science textbooks for grades 7 through 12 from ck-12.org, a nonprofit foundation that creates and aggregates STEM content, to fit Utah’s standards. Schools can begin using the new texts in the fall, which will be free for anyone to view or print in PDF form.